2012 SHOT Show: Final Thoughts


Coming back to the office after a busy week of guns and gear in Vegas is quite the come down. I wanted to put together a summary of some of the coolest things I saw at SHOT this year in one post. For those of who have been following our SHOT page, this may seem like a bit of a rehash, but read on just in case you missed something in the arsenal that was on display last week.

Shooting the MKA1919 at Media Day

Media Day

Media Day quickly became a mad rush to get my hands on as many guns as I could, and the staff manning the range booths were eager to please. One of my favorites from the range was the MKA1919 semi-automatic shotgun. It’s got the familiar feel of an AR-15 and the power of a 12 gauge. Despite being a bit bulkier than their 5.56 cousins, they weigh only 6 ½ pounds when unloaded. They’ll come with two detachable five round mags and RAAC was showcasing some very cool home-made hi-cap mags that will likely hit the market this year to up the round count. Even with their light weight and the typically heavy recoil of a 12 gauge round, the guns were remarkably controllable, especially when kitted out with some proprietary muzzle brakes by RAAC, one of the companies importing them from Turkey. They were fun and comfortable to shoot and look like they’ll provide a solid complement to Saiga semi-auto shotguns in the year to come.

I also had the privilege to try out a select-fire KRISS Vector (sometimes known as the Super V). The gun was just as cool as I had heard, with light recoil for a select fire weapon and great ergonomics. The two-round burst allowed for quick double taps at a surprising distance and was very controllable.

Shooting the KRISS Vector at Media Day

Day One

The Heckler & Koch booth was a real treat, particularly with their G28 Patrol Rifle on display. It’s a variant of the HK417 in 7.62x51mm with an all-steel upper that makes it a perfect designated marksman rifle. Unfortunately for us civilians, it’s only offered to military and law enforcement at this time but a civilian version (albeit without the steel upper) is available, called the MR762A1.

HK G28 rifle on display at SHOT

It was also a real treat to stop by the combined Arsenal, Inc. and K-Var booth to check out the new Vepr AK rifles being imported this year. They’re closer to the RPK machine gun internally (minus the select-fire capability, of course) and come in high quality hand-made stocks.

Veprs on display at SHOT

Day Two

Glock brought out some of their new Gen4 pistols for this year’s show, specifically the Glock 32 in .357 Sig. I’m a big fan of the cartridge myself, so I’m excited to see exactly how it performs at the range.

Glock 32 Gen4 at SHOT

Stag Arms is releasing a new AR designed specifically for 3 Gun shooters, coincidentally called the 3G. It features an 18” stainless steel fluted heavy barrel, Geissele Super 3-Gun trigger, Samson Evolution handguard, a Magpul ACS buttstock and a MOE pistol grip. As is typical with Stag’s offerings, the 3G is also offered in left-handed versions.

Stag Arms 3G at SHOT

Day Three

My final day on the floor brought me to the Magpul booth, where they were showing off their new accessories for the Remington 870. They’ve got a new ergonomic buttstock with modular cheek pieces and spacers to adjust length of pull.

Magpul'd Remington 870 at SHOT

Another one of the more innovative things this year was the Thompson Center Dimension bolt action rifle platform.

The Dimension is a modular rifle that can quickly and easily switch between several different calibers by only replacing the bolt, magazine group, barrel and scope mount. There are four different “series” of parts for sets of calibers, A for .204 Ruger and .223 Remington, B for .22-250 Rem, .243 Win, 7mm-08 Rem and .308 Win, C for .270 Win and .30-06 and D for 7mm Rem Magnum and .300 Win Magnum. The parts for each series are each sold separately. You can switch between the different series in a matter of minutes.

In my opinion, a modular gun system could be the next big thing in the military small arms industry, and it’s cool to see it tried out in the commercial market.

Thompson Center Dimension rifle platform at SHOT


All in all, it was an awesome show, especially for a first-timer like me. I’m looking forward to being able to attend many more after this and continue to bring you hands-on reports of the hottest new guns on the market. If you missed anything, be sure to check out our central SHOT Show page for all the news and stories from the show. And don’t forget to let us know what you thought the coolest product of the show was on our Campfire Discussion page!

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